Last month, I was testing some raw pumpkin pie recipes for Rachael. Rachael is a dear friend of mine, we met at Matthew Kenney Academy. She is very inspirational, has a very informative blog, you can find more about her here. (I will post one of her recipes next week, she was very kind to give me a very tasty recipe of hers!) So, after couple tastings I came up with a great recipe. Most of the raw pumpkin pie recipes don’t use pumpkin, and I really like the taste of them so I had to find a way to incorporate them to the recipe. I came up with a solution; to marinate shredded pumpkin with maple syrup! It really helps the starchiness to break down. So happy Thanksgiving! Find the recipe here.
Last month, I attended my first Kinfolk event in Milk Gallery, which was very exciting for me. I discovered Kinfolk magazine this summer, and I subscribed to it immediately simply because, it was THE most beautiful print I have ever seen. It is ad-free (yay!), and it collects ideas from a growing international community of artists, designers, photographers, cooks and others who are interested in small gatherings and finding new things to cook, make and do. Printed in Canada on uncoated paper, each issue is filled with lush photography, lyrical essays, recipes, interviews, profiles, personal stories and practical tips along with a keen attention to design and details. They organize workshops / events almost every month, all over the world. You can check the next one closest to you here. This particular event that I attended to was a celebration dinner for their first cookbook, The Kinfolk Table: Recipes for Small Gatherings. I had a chance to look at it, and I love a good cookbook, so I strongly recommend you to buy it. I ordered mine from here.
So onto the event. I didn’t know anyone there, so for me, it was a great opportunity to meet like-minded people. They also asked me to come with a recipe, and if possible with tastings, to share with others. Of course I had to choose a raw food recipe, it needed to be easy to make, not much equipment needed (because not everyone has a Vita-mix, or dehydrator), and easy to transport (I had to make it in Bodrum and take it with me on a flight to Istanbul!). So I didn’t have much choice actually, I decided to make chocolate truffles(see the recipe below). It was a good choice because who wouldn’t love chocolate? Right?
I really enjoyed the dinner, the attendees were amazing. I met so many beautiful people there, I am really grateful for it. It was also very interesting that everyone whom I spoke to was particularly interested in raw food and detox, which is a big surprise for me.
baby spinach salad with roasted pear and goat’s cheese, props by Acme Props
photo credits by Düğme Film.
photo credits by Düğme Film
The toothpicks by Urban Bake. The head of the toothpick is concrete, such a nice idea. Şebnem is a jewelry designer, I really love her work (I have already ordered a necklace from her, and likely to order more things!) I really recommend you to check her beautiful designs…
The beautiful textiles and aprons by Sobremesa. Their products are to die for; simple, neutral, good quality. I was actually very surprised to see them here because I was their first customer! I had met one of the owners in our hotel couple months ago and she mentioned she will be launching a new textiles brand with her friend and I jumped into it saying ‘send me the pictures and I will be the first to order!’ and I did. I met her friend here, she was also surprised to know that I am their first customer and she wrote the hand written tags and wrap the package herself! We are living in such a small world…
flower arrangements by vesaire.
The raw chocolate truffles and other desserts were enjoyed by people after dinner accompanying organic coffee by Kronotrop. It was simply the perfect ending to our night.
Here is the recipe;
Raw Chocolate Truffles
(makes 10 truffles)
- 3/4 cup raw cacao powder
- 1/4 cup agave or honey
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup cashews, soaked 4 hours
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 3 tbsp cacao butter
- a pinch Himalayan salt
Melt the coconut oil and cacao butter using bain-marie. (You can use a dehydrator if you have.)
Combine everything in a high-speed blender except oils.
Add the oils, slowly blend and chill for 1- 1.3o hours.
Start rolling! You can use different flavorings for rolling, I used almonds, hemp seeds, goji berries, raw cacao, matcha, poppy seeds, fresh rosemary, dried lavender… Use your imagination!
We have been given beautiful gifts; Müz Marimo by Zeynep and Gülriz, and apple & tomato chutney by Eda, aka Geraldine Cooks. Thank you girls! Müz is a very exciting, new brand by Zeynep and Gülriz, I strongly recommend checking their website out, they have the most beautiful terrariums… and I am obsessed with them, so proud that a Turkish brand came up with beautiful designs.
photo credits by Düğme Film
I simply enjoyed every little detail in this event, it really appealed to me as a design/food enthusiast. I am looking forward for the next event… Thank you Kinfolk, for bringing all of us together.
Peace & Love
It all started with a coincidence… but wait, there is no such thing as coincidence, right? So let me explain how I found myself in Bucharest first. This past summer, we had the privilege of welcoming Andreea Marin, who is apparently quite famous with her TV shows in Romania. A close friend of hers recommended our detox center, Gardens of Babylon Well being Resort, so that is how we met. She was very kind, honest and positive, we had a close bound from day one. We had long conversations about her diet, exercise program and her wellness overall… During one of these conversations, I remember she said ‘You are doing something great. And these words are coming from a woman who is a perfectionist and very honest. We should spread the word and let Romanians know about these stuff!’ I am very grateful because she is actually one of those people who encouraged me to do better… ‘So the next step is, you will come to my new show and we will do something with you.’ I was like ‘OK, me? On a live show? No way…’ but I said that I will do it. So couple months after, completely forgotten that I had given my promise, I got an email from her assistant saying I should be in Bucharest in two weeks, that I will be one of the guests on her Pretuieste Vieta show…
So that is the story actually. I was very busy during my visit- shopping for the food that I would prepare on the show, meeting with Andreea to speak about the content, and shootings. We have done couple shootings which I would share on Facebook when they aired. Here is a shot from the live show;
Like I said, I was so busy the first 3 days, I didn’t have time to explore the city! Although this is my excuse; I had only one free day in Bucharest and I preferred to discover the healthy living spots rather than touristic places. It was my priority because of the increasing Romanian customers we had, I wanted to be able to tell them where to shop, where to eat in Bucharest… So here it is; my couple favorite places that I discovered in Bucharest. My time was limited so I could only visit few places, but this series will likely continue with my next visit and new discoveries.
This is an organic cosmetics and skincare shop, but they also carry organic/ecological household products, soaps and chemical-free perfumes. I loved the place, it was packed with my favorite organic brands like Weleda, Jason, Madara… I also discovered local brands and new brands I have never heard of such as Florascent Perfumeurs, a chemical-free perfume brand. I loved most of the perfumes in the series, they smell natural and very beautiful indeed. You should definitely stop by this place if you decide to detox your bathroom and vanity. I will talk about the importance of organic cosmetics and skincare in another post because it is a very important subject, most people are not aware of the chemicals they put on their bodies. Our skin is our biggest organ so we need to be gentle and try to use natural alternatives as much as possible!
Address: Str. Jules Michelet Nr. 9 (Zona P-ţa Romană / din Magheru / vis-a-vis de Ambasada Marii Britanii)
www.miobio.roTel: 0731 365 816
This is a health food store right in the center of the city (I stayed in Athenee Hilton so it took 3 minutes for me to walk there). It was fully packed with superfoods, alkalinizing grains & seeds, sea vegetables, herbal tea blends, organic skincare, essential oils, supplements, Ayurveda and homeopathic remedies, gluten-free (think Soba noodles) / refined sugar-free products (think raw chocolate made with agave or honey), on and on… I have probably spent there 1.30 hours. I have found some of my favorite food brands there such as Clearspring (organic japanese seaweed, sea vegetables and fermented soy products such as miso), and Yogi Tea… I talk a lot about the benefits of superfoods and sea vegetables in my classes, and customers are always asking me desperately where to find these things.. You just need to know where to look at. I am sure in near future, with a bigger demand, these superfoods can be found in regular supermarkets and shops… Till then, we need stores like Ki-Life, they are probably saving our lives. 🙂
Rawdia became my favorite spot in Bucharest. Why? Because it was packed with yummy smoothies, juices and take-away raw food (snacks, desserts, soups..). I loved the beautifully decorated place, I ordered some coconut cheesecake and it was truly delicious. They served it with cacao nibs and honey. I also bought some raw falafel balls and almond milk smoothie- they were my airport food. Really tasty, and the service was very good, they were really helpful. They also have a small shop which you can find some superfoods. I was very surprised to find Xylitol there- I was searching it for months! Long story short- go there. If the weather is good, they have some tables outside.
A vegan / raw vegan restaurant; this is a place where you can introduce anyone a raw vegan cuisine. The menu is quite good actually, all the cult raw vegan dishes can be found here like zucchini pasta, lasagna, etc. I have tried the zucchini pasta with pesto sauce, it was tremendous. Probably one of the best I have ever had. They also have a small shop fully packed with superfoods, alternative sweeteners, slow juicers, blenders… They also have a good juice menu. If I’d live in Bucharest, I would go there probably several times a week!
My last stop was Bio Fresh. It is a vegetarian / vegan / raw vegan cafe, it has a ‘terrace’ as Romanians say (outdoor dining tables). I was actually shocked when I have seen the menu; it was the biggest menu I have ever seen in a vegetarian / vegan restaurant and so many choices were available, I really couldn’t believe it. It is impossible to order one thing, you suddenly want to order more than 3 things- it is very tempting! I went there full (my mistake but like I said- my time was limited) so I ordered a snack. Raw bread with guacamole- and let me tell you; it was the best raw bread I have ever tasted. No but seriously- I have visited so many raw restaurants in U.S. and never came across something like this. I was also very impressed with the juice menu- I couldn’t even counted how many juices they had. Probably 50 or something! I really recommend this place; it may be a good spot to go with carnivore friends, they also have alcohol so while you enjoy your healthy food, they also won’t feel restricted as there are so many choices.